Each year, History Camp Boston features a custom printed t-shirt for attendees, inspired in some way by a historic anniversary or nearby historic site. See our 2018 shirt commemorating the 250th anniversary of the occupation of Boston, the 2017 shirt highlighting the nearby Granary Burying Ground, the 2016 shirt marking the Stamp Act repeal, a lovely design featuring the Old State House for 2015, and the original 2014 History Camp shirt inspired by the lanterns lit at Old North on the eve of the British march to Lexington and Concord.
We have received a few suggestions for a 2019 theme. Write to Lee with your favorite or another suggestion.
From JL Bell
Just off the top of my head, here are a couple of ideas for visual themes. First, that weekend includes Evacuation Day/St. Patrick’s Day. I presume that might be part of plans for Sunday events. If so, there are plenty of historic images associated with the day, such as images of the British departing and the medal the Congress wanted to give to Washington (now at the BPL, if I recall right). Plus more recent pictures of Irish Boston, Mayor Curley, etc.
Second, 2019 will be the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Third Meetinghouse/Old South Church. There were two buildings before the one we now have as Old South Meeting House, plus the current Old South Church in the Back Bay. If there are images (even conjectural) of the first two, then they could show how a Boston institution evolved over three and a half centuries.
More ideas for “round number anniversaries” from Jake Sconyers
- Jan 15, 1919: A holding tank ruptures in Boston’s North End, releasing millions of gallons of molasses in a deadly tidal wave.
- Feb 11, 1969: Boston’s new City Hall, with its polarizing brutalist architecture, is officially dedicated.
- Feb 24, 1919: 22 women are arrested at the Massachusetts State House (steps from the location of History Camp 2019) for protesting a speech by President Woodrow Wilson. The President was arriving back in the US after participating in negotiations about his proposed League of Nations, but suffrage activists were upset that he hadn’t kept promises to support a suffrage amendment. It was the last mass arrest of American women jailed in the name of suffrage.
- Jun 16, 1869: Boston’s Grand Peace Jubilee opens in the Back Bay, a spectacular musical celebration of the end of the Civil War. The coliseum is one of the largest buildings in the world in the time, holding twice as many audience members as a concert at the TD Garden. The concert features a chorus of 10,000 singers, 1,000 instrumentalists, the world’s largest organ, an 8 foot bass drum, an electrically fired battery of cannons, a cavalcade of church bells, and 100 uniformed Boston fire fighters hammering anvils in unison.
Sept 9, 1919: With runaway inflation after World War I, Boston police officers were still earning wages set in 1857, while paying for their uniforms and equipment out of pocket. Fed up with stagnant wages and poor conditions, the officers unionized. On September 9, they went on strike, and days of violence and chaos swept the streets aftewards.
Dec 21, 1719: James Franklin (Ben’s brother) begins publishing the Boston Gazette, Boston’s second newspaper.
Dec 26, 1919: Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sells Babe Ruth’s contract, creating the Curse of the Bambino.